Thanks to Sens. Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, along with some Republican showboats fighting a lesser battle, Xavier Becerra was confirmed today as secretary of Health and Human Services, 50-49.
Former CAGOP Field Director Jordan Tygh, who grabbed headlines with his stunning weekend piece documenting Becerra’s totalitarian methods, told Townhall today, “Xavier Becerra’s confirmation shows us that if you’re dishonest, ruthless, and corrupt, you will get ahead. It’s a sad day for Americans who want national unity and an ethical government.”
One hundred days ago, upon his nomination, I reviewed the troubling nature of the former California attorney general.
Opposition to Becerra’s confirmation was exhaustive, including a dearth of qualifications, radical abortions views, and pursuance of legal action against the Little Sisters of the Poor over their religious objections to Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate.
Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, and a long-time Democrat activist, supports the career politician with no medical background. She extolled Becerra’s virtues last month, while condemning Republican criticism.
But as National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez countered a day later, the sister missed the mark.
“Left or Right, we cannot use our professed faith for cover, or to hide or justify support for evil — which is what abortion, in its latest stages, is. That’s trying to make God in the image of an ideology. Forcing the Little Sisters and others to provide coverage for contraceptives and abortion-inducing pills is not safeguarding women’s health, it is wrecking religious liberty. And it’s such a deep disrespect for their faith-based work, so essential to a healthy democratic republic. Becerra’s bullying them — and somehow supposedly as a Catholic value — is a sign of our deep sickness.”
Becerra also once filed felony charges against undercover pro-life activists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s ghoulish practice of selling body parts of aborted babies to biotech companies.
Mary Hallan-FioRito from the Ethics and Public Policy Center recently called President Joe Biden’s choice “extremely puzzling”:
“Becerra’s candidacy indicates that Biden’s aspiration to unify a divided country was simply empty rhetoric. Becerra’s ‘comply or be canceled’ mindset, along with his record of animosity toward people of faith, is hardly the type of appointment that will unify, much less ‘heal America.’”
Even before Becerra’s hearing, 11 Senate Republicans asked Biden to withdraw the nomination. Once underway, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse excoriated Becerra.
“Mr. Becerra, you said a while ago that you had never sued the nuns, which is a pretty interesting way of reframing your bullying. You had actually sued the government, who had given an exemption to the nuns. Can you explain to us what the Little Sisters of the Poor were doing wrong?” Sasse asked.
“Our problem was that the federal government was not abiding by the law as we saw it,” Becerra replied.
Sasse slammed Becerra’s answer as “nonsense” and asked what the nuns did to make it difficult for California to administer the ACA. Becerra denied the lawsuit was related to the nuns, but Sasse wasn’t having it.
“It was about the nuns,” the senator claimed. “You say you sued the federal government that was keeping you from making sure that the nuns had to buy contraceptive insurance. Were the nuns going to get pregnant?”
Sasse also took aim at Becerra earlier this month, claiming, “In the middle of a deadly global pandemic, Americans want their Department of Health & Human Services to be focused on health & human services— not culture wars. If bullying nuns & trampling 1st Amendment rights could magically cure COVID, Becerra would be qualified.”
Whether or not Republicans should have focused from the onset on Becerra, rather than Neera Tanden, can be debated. What’s not debatable is that Becerra’s almost as authoritarian as his predecessor who, despite her failures as attorney general, senator and presidential candidate, now casts critical tie-breaking votes and sits a heartbeat from the presidency.